Kingston Resident Embarks on ‘Freedom Ride’ With Goal of Aiding Working Class Communities
A Kingston, NY resident is hitting the road on what is being called 'a solo freedom ride - around the nation in 90 days,' via motorcycle, in search of tools that inspire and fuel collective liberation. August 1st marked the departure date for the Freedom Ride, that will run through November 1st. This is Ethan Scott Barnett's story.
Who Is Ethan Scott Barnett?
Identifying as a black, queer, organizer, and cultural worker who currently lives in Kingston, Barnett has quite the back story when it comes to the work that they do.
For the last 5 years, I've had the opportunity and honor to contribute to some exciting and extremely necessary struggles for dedicated to collective political education, food sovereignty and mutual aid redistribution
This, according to the Givebutter website where Barnett has shared their story and details about the upcoming ride around the nation studying social movements. In the end, the ride, and the 'tools' gathered along the way will directly benefit the Hudson Valley, serving as the foundation for building a 'social movement incubator.'
Solo Freedom Ride: Around the Nation in 90 Days
Barnett's journey across the nation will entail a 15,000-mile motorcycle trip around Turtle Bay, in just 90 days, visiting 33 states and 25 major cities. During the adventure, Barnett will be visiting various revolutionary organizations and political education centers in order to get an understanding of how they are 'transforming society.'
I am seeking out guidance and advice from BIPOC farmers, Queer cooperatives, elders of the Civil Rights Movement, spiritual leaders, veterans of the Black Freedom Struggle, indigenous organizers, gorilla academics and lastly and most importantly, everyday people who are dedicated to their communities and passionate about changing the world.
The first leg of the journey is from New York (Hudson Valley) to Alaska - 6100 miles, followed by Alaska to Arkansas - 5740 miles, Arkansas to Florida - 1700 miles, and finally Florida back to the Hudson Valley - 1700 miles.
Funding for this freedom ride has been generated from donations. As of today, August 2, the Givebutter account shows total donations at $20,020, achieving the goal of $20,000. Barnett broke down where the funds would be allocated - citing $9,000 to fund the ride, $2,750 for redistribution funds, $2,750 for bills, and the final $5,500 for the Hudson Valley Freedom Project.
More About the Hudson Valley Freedom Project
The information, resources and tools gathered during the Freedom Ride will be used here in the Hudson Valley to develop the Hudson Valley Freedom Project which has been described as 'an ever-evolving movement incubator dedicated to building city across historic lines of division for working-class communities in the Hudson Valley.' Though Barnett has a lengthy list of organizations and individuals they will seek out information from, the theme of learning from 'everyday people who are dedicated to their communities and passionate about changing the world' is what stood out most to me.